“I don’t think I’ll ever forget how my internship interview with Fi was. I was expecting a typical interview but it was actually a two-hour-long conversation between two software engineers”, says Arnab, Frontend software engineering intern at Fi.
Regardless of the major you choose, what you learn in your classrooms is always drastically different than what you do on the job. Add that to working in a new booming industry, dynamic teams, and the latest tech stack - and you’ve got a challenge! But before we jump into how Arnab’s doing it all at his internship at Fi, let’s get a little backstory.
“I’ve been following the fintech journey in India for a while now. Ever since digitisation, there’s been so much innovation around making finance simpler, and Fi particularly caught my eye with regard to this. I checked out the company and its people and decided to take a leap of faith by texting one of the founding team members on Linkedin. Next thing you know, a senior engineer from Fi got in touch with me and had an initial conversation. Post this, I had my official interview with the team I’d be working with.”
Now, if you know anything about interviewing at Fi, you know the interviews are focused on not just finding the right fit for the role but also the right person for our teams. “A few minutes into my interview with Nikhil, I was comfortable enough to share my insights on processes he mentioned. We took a deep dive into my tech skills. We compared the tech stacks I’ve worked with before and the ones Fi uses. We also discussed frontend system designs and how they could architect the projects I would work on. From looking into the do’s and dont’s of tech systems at Fi to knowing more about the company culture and learning opportunities, it was an “all you need to know” experience.”
Arnab is currently a month into his “intense and amazing” internship at Fi (his words, we promise) and is working with the Web team. He’s currently working on establishing new pages and improving old ones across Fi’s website.
“This is the first time I’ve worked from an office, and the osmosis is super high here. Work is fast-paced at Fi, which is what keeps me on my toes in the best way possible. We use React here and have the hottest Typescript tech-stack. And well, if I’m stuck anywhere, all I need to do is turn my chair around, speak to my team, and get my doubts clarified.”
While Arnab continues his journey of growth at Fi, he also has some super useful tips to give any software engineering student who jumping into their internship semester. Here it goes -
1. Have a strong grasp of your basics. Your internship is far more fruitful when you go in with strong basics and get mentored for high-level learning.
2. It’s great to try out a bunch of things in college, but it isn’t the best way to approach internships. Have a general idea of what type of role you want to get into and choose an internship that gets you there. If you want to work on backend systems but take up another role in your internship, it won’t work.
3. This goes without saying but learn to actually enjoy what you do.
4. Everyone has different skill sets and aims, don’t follow everyone’s path and learn to narrow down things to what works for you.
Arnab is an integral part of the Web team, you’ll find him scurrying between meetings and solving problems as he goes. We’ve all had that one internship where we didn’t know what we were doing and why, unfortunately, your software engineering internship at Fi (or otherwise) shouldn’t be one of those. Wondering how Arnab avoided the internship clutter? Let’s have a look -
1. By building rich relationships with his mentors.
2. Learning above and beyond when it comes to tech-stacks.
3. Having a plan of projects and roles he wants to do before his internship ends.
And if in any case you’re wondering what you shouldn’t do as a software engineering intern, here it goes -
1. Not creating a portfolio of the work you’ve done. Show instead of tell!
2. Feeling insecure or not communicating with your team and mentors when you’re stuck. There will always be a bunch of things you won’t know, be open about these, it’s the best way to grow.
3. Shying away from collaborating with everyone at work. Look outside of your project, there’s a world of opportunities that might just need another hand.
By the time his internship ends, Arnab wants to polish building for scale and handle an end-to-end project where he can measure impact. “It’s the small things at Fi, when you sit for lunch with your team or other ones, you get an idea about what they’re upto and how they approach. All of these are golden words if you come with the perspective to learn. Everyone’s ready to help you out and the best part is that you’re treated with accountability. Usually, PM’s give you deadlines but here you set your timeline looking at your bandwidth and take things forward.”
Arnab is one of the younger additions to the Fi fam and brings in energy everyone needs. If you’re looking to explore internships at Fi, check this out.